Readers’ comments: January 20, 2023
Anti-Zionism is not a prejudice against Jews
Antisemitism is sometimes couched in terms of anti-Zionism. I’m sure that there are people who call themselves anti-Zionists who are disguising their antisemitism. They might even not realize it. In either case it is horrible. But, that is not necessarily true. It is not even necessarily true that all anti-Zionists are antisemites. A lot depends upon what you mean.
According to the Courier article [“Hate comes to town: Claremont driveways littered with antisemitic flyers,” January 13, 2023] the Anti-Defamation League describes, anti-Zionism as “a prejudice against the Jewish movement for self-determination and the right of the Jewish people to a homeland in the State of Israel.” It is a little unclear what to make of this remark because we don’t know what “the state of Israel” refers to. And, we don’t know what “having a homeland” means.
I am opposed to Zionism. This is what I mean. I mean I am opposed to the belief that the Jewish people have an exclusive right to self-determination and a homeland in the land between the river and the sea. This is not a prejudice.
CUSD appointment reinforces “clubby” atmosphere
On Wednesday night the CUSD school board selected former board member Hilary LaConte to fill disgraced and resigned board member and president Steven Llanusa.
While the board had eight or nine other enthusiastic applicants, it chose unanimously to go with this retread. This was an example of the tremendously “clubby” atmosphere of the school board. There was no detailed discussion: the comments by the board president and vice president revolved primarily around their early acquaintances and even friendship with Ms. LaConte. It was absolutely clear that their minds were made up before the rather pro forma “interviews.” One new board member, remarkably, stated that he was supporting Ms. LaConte because it would make his job easier — not for any such extraneous reasons such as her selection might be better for students.
It’s a curious and antidemocratic process. Even though there are nearly two years left in the vacated term, the board, legally, chose to make the appointment itself. So we have a situation where the representative of District 4 is chosen by no one from District 4, but rather the representatives of Districts 1, 2, 3, and 5. If and when Ms. LaConte is seated, three of the five members of the school board will not have faced an election. There is a process where the voters of the district can turn this decision around, but it remains to be seen whether anything will come of it.
Mr. Aaron Peterson was the only one of the group of applicants who had actually bothered to run against Mr. Llanusa in the November election. He ran a credible campaign and garnered more than 1,600 votes, but I guess that didn’t cut any ice with the four school board members.
What Mr. Peterson didn’t understand is that the CUSD school board is a club, and he wasn’t in it.
Ludd A. Trozpek